Don't forget the three checks in medication administration

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Before administering medication, it is critical to have five areas of information correct: patient identification, medication, dosage, time, and route. But, it's not only critical to ensure this information is correct, you should check three times:

  1. The first check is when the medications are pulled or retrieved from the automated dispensing machine, the medication drawer, or whatever system is in place at a given institution.
  2. The second check is when preparation of the medications for administration takes place.
  3. The final check occurs at the patient's bedside just before medications are given. This is also an outstanding opportunity to teach the patient about the medications.